Off-Grid Indulgence: Oman
While Morocco is now well-established on the honeymoon trail, Oman offers a unique alternative. Swap Morocco’s Sahara Desert to sleep under the stars in a luxury Bedouin camp in Oman’s Wahiba Sands. Or trade the buzz of Marrakesh for Muscat or Morocco’s Atlas Mountains for one of Oman’s remote mountaintop retreats. Looking for some beach time? Instead of Morocco’s bohemian Essaouira, opt for Oman’s Musandam Peninsula.
Where to stay: Alila Jabal Akhdar; Al Roose, Al Jabal Al Akhdar 621
Insider’s tip: For ultimate romance, sleep under the desert stars at Magic Camps.
Jungles & Cast-Away Islands: Belize
For adventure lovers, Belize ticks all the boxes. The coastline unfurls across miles of golden beaches, all of which offer a range of one-off experiences: escape to a private island resort; dive in the Blue Hole; or snorkel the world’s second biggest barrier reef. Alternatively, hunker down in a rainforest-swamped luxury lodge or kayak along the meandering Macal River before hiking up to the roaring waterfalls.
Where to stay: Cayo Espanto; Cayo Espanto Private Island Vacation Resort, San Pedro
Insider’s tip: Tikal, one of Central America’s most magnificent Mayan sites, is just across the border in Guatemala and makes a great add-on to a Belize itinerary.
Cultural Immersion: Japan
From the futuristic buzz of Tokyo to the temple-studded streets of Kyoto, Japan promises an unforgettable adventure. Tokyo is an obvious first stop: soak up the neon-blur, experience its robot cafes or lose yourself in its minimalist fashion boutiques. Eating will also be top of the agenda, from backstreet ramen bars to world-class restaurants. After the adrenaline-high of Tokyo, Kyoto makes for a slower-paced antidote - a city peppered with traditional temples, shrines and ornate gardens. Looking to explore further? Japan has it all: hike up Mount Fuji, immerse yourself in traditional forest bathing or even try hitting the ski slopes.
Where to stay: Aman Kyoto; 1 Okitayama Washimine-Cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto
Insider’s tip: For an extra dose of romance, visit Japan during the Sakura season (usually end of March to early April) when the landscape is cloaked in soft cherry blossoms.
Effortlessly Gorgeous Italy: Puglia
While honeymooners tend to crowd the glitzy Amalfi Coast, Puglia makes for a more low-key alternative. Sun-baked, white-washed and effortlessly gorgeous, Puglia’s double coastline envelopes secluded coves and stunning towns, from Polignano a Mare to Monopoli. Away from the coast, Puglia is a rural tumble of olive groves, hilltop towns and vineyards. Honeymooners looking for memorable places to stay will love Puglia’s converted trulli – conical dwellings that dot the countryside – and its white-washed masseria - traditional Puglian farmhouses serving locally sourced food.
Where to stay: Masseria Potenti; Contrada Potenti, Manduria
Insider’s tip: Just over the border in Basilicata is Matera, an ancient cave city that makes for a fascinating add-on to a Puglia trip.
Idyllic Island Escape: Andaman Islands
Between India and Myanmar, the Andaman Islands are laden with unspoilt beaches. Think the Maldives, just without the crowds. Base yourself on Havelock Island, where kicking back and relaxing is the order of the day. If you fancy more activity, there’s enough to keep you busy from jungle trekking and island hopping. Neil Island, one-hour away by boat, is a must.
Where to stay: Jalakara; Village number 4, Havelock Island
Insider’s tip: Red Snapper, Wild Orchid’s thatch-roofed restaurant, serves up delicious seafood platters in a romantic, candlelit beach setting.
Rare Wildlife & Beach Escapes: Madagascar
Flung off the east coast of southern Africa, Madagascar is perfect for nature lovers. Get ready to set sigh on hundreds of exotic species and dramatic landscapes, that range from baobab-studded plains to dense jungle. Five percent of the world’s wildlife calls Madagascar home, so this is the place to embrace your inner Attenborough: go whale spotting; meet the island’s famous lemurs; or scuba dive with turtles. Just be sure to visit the island’s charming colonial villages, as well as factor in a hefty dose of relaxation. Miavana, Madagascar’s first super-smart eco lodge, is paving the way for luxury sustainability here – its offshore island location is pure honeymoon paradise.
Where to stay: Miavana; Nosy Ankao
Insider’s tip: If time allows, travel to the unearthly Parc National Bemaraha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can climb and abseil amongst a surreal “forest” of serrated limestone pinnacles.
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